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Ch. 22 Stitch-Sampler Patchwork Blanket

Stitch-Sampler Patchwork Blanket

You’re now ready for the pièce de résistance – a patchwork-square blanket, using all the skills we’ve learned so far.

This will be a great project to show off your favorite stitch-patterns, experiment with new ones, and tie all your new skills together into something really memorable. Patchwork Blanket

A stitch-sampler patchwork blanket is made up of different patterned squares of the same size, seamed together. That’s it.

You can make the blanket as big or as small as you want – to cover a baby in a stroller or two newlyweds in a king- sized bed.

Little embellishments and borders are optional, and you can make this project as simple or complex as you want. You can also work together with a group of friends, each knitter making one or a few squares to combine together as a gift to someone special (this makes a wonderful going-away present for a much-loved member of a knitting circle who is moving away).

Since you now have lots of experience making stitch-combination fabrics and reading knit-and-purl patterns, I’m going to leave you on your own to work through the squares.

I’ll be giving you suggestions of squares to try, and I’ll recommend a few nice challenges that I think you will enjoy (like a beginning lace pattern.).

I’ll also walk you through tricks for making seaming super-fast, and tips to make sure each square comes out (or ends up) the same size.


Choosing Your Yarn

The first consideration when making a knitted project as a gift is that you’ll probably want to use a washable yarn. Beware of relying on others to hand-wash your painstakingly knitted products.

Any washable worsted-weight yarn will work well for this project – the blanket shown in the photo above (“Patchwork Blanket” by Sandi Prosser) uses Cascade 220 Superwash, a washable worsted-weight wool that comes in a million colors. Ella Rae Classic would also work well.

Also, as we have seen before, solid colors will work best with this type of project. Choosing a heathered or tweedy version of your favorite colors can be a nice change, and won’t distract from the patterns you are going to knit.


Planning Your Blanket and Choosing Your Squares

If you like, you can buy Quick Baby Knits and use the pattern for the above patchwork blanket straight out of the book. Or, you can put together your own patchwork blanket scheme by selecting different stitch patterns yourself.

When selecting patterns yourself, just make sure to cast on the same number or almost the same number of stitches and work about the same number of rows for each square, so that they all come out the same size.

I would recommend a square about 40 stitches in width for this project (at a gauge of 5 stitches per inch, that’s 8 inches across). You can cast-on 41 stitches to accommodate the slipped-edge stitch in each row (see below).


Preparing Your Edges

We’ll be using a crochet hook to seam your blanket squares together super-easily. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to crochet. I’ll show you a very basic seaming technique at the end of this project.

One nice thing about using crochet to seam up your squares is that you don’t have to weave in your ends – you’ll use them to seam up the squares.

Since crochet uses up a lot of yarn, leave a very long tail on each square – a few yards long will work well. I’ll show you how to make all your ends disappear in the video on seaming at the end of this module.

In order to make it easy to seam the squares, we’re going to slip the first stitch of every row on each square we make. This will make a nice row of elongated stitches along the sides of the squares – perfect for seaming.

Watch the video below and remember: slip the first stitch purlwise with yarn in front, and knit the last stitch of every row.


Select Your Stitch Patterns

Here are some stitch-patterns that will work really nicely for this project.


Seed Stitch Blue

Seed Stitch

We’ve already learned seed stitch from our challenge dishcloth project. Because we’ll be casting on an odd number of stitches, repeating row 1 will result in a perfect seed stitch.

CO 42 sts.
Row 1: Sl 1 with yarn in front, (K1, P1) to last st, K1.
Repeat row 1 until your square is as tall as it is wide.
BO and weave in ends.


Moss stitch

Moss Stitch

Moss stitch is an elongated version of seed stitch – that is, you stack two stitches of the same type before switching.

CO 42 sts.
Rows 1 and 4: Sl 1 with yarn in front, (K1, P1) to last st, K1.
Rows 2 and 3: Sl 1 with yarn in front, (P1, K1) to last st, K1.
Repeat rows 1-4 until your square is as tall as it is wide.
BO and weave in ends.


Mistake Rib

Broken Rib (Mistake Rib)

CO 42 sts.
Row 1: Sl 1 with yarn in front, (K1, P1) to last st, K1.
Row 2: Sl 1 with yarn in front, K across.
Repeat rows 1-2 until your square is as tall as it is wide.
BO and weave in ends.


Checkerboard Stitch close up

Checkerboard Stitch

This is a great challenge for you to knit by reading your work. You can do this as a small-check square or a large- check square – I present both directions here.

Small checks:

CO 42 sts.
Rows 1-4: Sl 1 with yarn in front, (K4, P4) to last st, K1.
Rows 5-8: Sl 1 with yarn in front,, (P4, K4) to last st, K1.
Repeat rows 1-8 until your square is as tall as it is wide.
BO and weave in ends.

Large checks:

CO 42 sts.
Rows 1-8: Sl 1 with yarn in front, (K8, P8) to last st, K1.
Rows 9-16: Sl 1 with yarn in front, (P8, K8) to last st, K1.
Repeat rows 1-16 until your square is as tall as it is wide.
BO and weave in ends.


More Free Stitch Patterns

Luckily, many dishcloth patterns are available online that will work great as blanket squares.

Make sure that you cast on about the same number of stitches for each square. If the dishcloth pattern includes a garter-stitch border, like our stockinette-stitch one did, you can leave off those stitches to make the dishcloth the right size if you need to. Check out the following free designs to see which ones you like:

More Stitch-Pattern Resources

200 Knitted Blocks Book Cover

For this project, the book 200 Knitted Blocks is a great resource. The name says it all.

Harmony Guide Knit and Purl Cover

The Knit and Purl Harmony Guide is also a beautiful resource for stitch-patterns made with just combinations of knit and purl stitches.


Challenge Stitch-Pattern: Beginning Lace

If you’re up for it, let’s combine all your new knowledge to make lace.

A lace block will make a nice introduction to the technique, it’s more great practice for your pattern-reading, and it will look beautiful in your blanket.

Lace is simply a combination of yarnovers and knit-2-togethers, in a variety of patterns. You already know how to do both those stitches – let’s put them together in a square for your blanket.


Lacy Zig-Zag Blanket Square

CO 38 sts.

Rows 1, 3, and 5 (RS): Sl 1, (K2tog, K2, YO, K2) to last st, K1.
Row 2 and all even-numbered rows: Sl 1, P across.
Rows 7, 9, and 11: Sl 1, K3, (YO, K2, K2tog, K2) to last 4 stitches,YO, K2, K2tog.
Repeat rows 1-12 until your square is as tall as it is wide.
BO and weave in ends.


Follow along with me in the video to make sure you understand how to read and knit this pattern.

Great work. Look at you go! I am SO proud that you’ve learned to read and knit a pattern like this.


Adding a Border to Your Squares

Alright, it’s time to seam up your blanket.

If any of your squares are curling or acting funky in any way, go ahead and block them so they are easy to seam.

Now, if any squares are more than half an inch smaller along the edge than any others, follow along with this video to crochet a tiny border around the squares to make them a little bigger before seaming. The following video will introduce you to single crochet borders.

It’s the same one you may have watched about putting a border on a dishcloth, but exactly the same concept applies here as well (without the loop of course).


Seam Up Blanket Squares With a Crochet Hook

Now, let’s use the same simple stitch, the single crochet, to seam the edges of your squares.

Here’s how to do it on the nice and even side-edges, and on the less-nice-and-even cast-on edges.


Seaming Squares with Mattress Stitch

Mattress stitch is a way to seam together pieces of knitting. To make this process as easy as possible, block the pieces to be seamed and use a sturdy, contrasting yarn as your seaming yarn.

Once you get the hang of Mattress Stitch, you can use the tail yarn of your project to do it (this is slightly more challenging because the yarn won’t stand out as you work).

If you’d like to seam up your squares with a completely invisible seam, watch my mattress stitch video below.

You can also crochet around the entire blanket a few times using single crochet (use the same technique we used to make a border around the squares) to pull the blanket together visually and to make a nice and even edge.

The only thing left is to block your blanket. Please don’t leave out this step, as it will be the finishing touch on a project that is worthy of looking its very best. Then, enjoy.

Congratulations – You Did It.

I’m so proud of you! I hope you realize how powerful the skills that you’ve learned are.

Not only will your entire family be covered in scarves and blankets for the holidays, you can now move forward to some of knitting’s most fun projects with the knowledge and confidence that you can do them! A cute happy stick figure by Liat


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